As times change, sport changes too - an important reason why we love sport. It reflects the day and age. Indian cricket has gone through a paradigm shift over the last 25 years. Watching the present series under the captaincy of Indian cricket’s poster-boy, Virat Kohli, could be an overwhelming experience for any cricket enthusiast who has survived the torment called Indian cricket through the 90s.
Yes, India did have their moments back then. However, on a wide array of factors, the team lagged massively behind the super-power teams like Australia and South Africa. The last two decades have witnessed the meteoric rise of Indian cricket and BCCI, buoyed by massive crowds and the large market potential cricket has in India. There has been an attitudinal shift amongst the players and that shows in the way India competes now, win or no win, especially at home, where they are nigh insurmountable.
Here are five massive changes the 90s fan will be exhilarated about.
#1 Fielding standards especially of bowlers
On Day 2 of the second Test in Vizag, Jayant Yadav chased down a ball quickly, dived and released the throw with his body in the air, all the way from deep square leg. Saha collected the ball a meter away from the stumps and flicked it back, catching Hameed inches short of the crease.
Everything changed from there. Hameed and Root were going beautifully until that moment but that wicket started a mini-collapse that eventually cost England the match.
Both the Indian pacers, Shami and Umesh Yadav are quick on the field too. Yadav is particularly athletic and dives around in the outfield quite a bit. Ravindra Jadeja is probably one of the finest fielders in the world.
Ashwin is the only slow-mover amongst the bowlers and he isn’t really like the gangly pathetic bowler-fielders India used to have back in the 90s. It helps that most of the outfields in India are now lush-green ensuring that the new generation of cricketers inculcate the right habits.